Botulism Outbreak in a Family after Ingestion of Locally Produced Cheese

Shahram Rafie, Shokrollah Salmanzadeh, Asieh Mehramiri, Adel Nejati


Botulism is one of the most important foodborne diseases and is caused by Clostridium botulinum toxin. The main manifestations are flaccid muscle paralysis and cranial nerve palsies. Botulism is an essential health problem because of its high mortality. The diagnosis of botulism, especially in sporadic cases, is a medical challenge and a high clinical suspicion is necessary for early recognition. So, every physician should be familiar with its signs and symptoms for early detection and treatment. We describe a family with dysphasia and acute paralysis after the ingestion of locally made cheese. The clinical presentations of the 1st patient were similar to myasthenic crisis and she, therefore, received plasma exchange. After the appearance of similar symptoms in the other family members, they were treated with polyvalent botulinum antitoxin and diagnosis was confirmed by toxicology and detection of serotype A botulinum toxin in cheese and stool samples. Uncommon clinical presentations and unusual sources of botulinum toxin should be kept in mind because of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. 


Botulism, Botulinum toxin A, Cheese

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pISSN: 0253-0716         eISSN: 1735-3688